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University of Maryland to Open VR/AR Centre

Several educational establishments are in the process of creating new centres and laboratories for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) research, development and study, such as the new HTC Vive classrooms in China, or the recently announced VR/AR lab at Honors College. Now the University of Maryland will be joining them, thanks to a $500,000 (USD) grant.

A grant awarded to the University of Maryland will allow the university to establish a new centre focussing on immersive media, particularly VR and AR. The Centre will be known as MARVIC – Mixed Augmented Virtual Reality Innovation Centre. The MARVIC will focus on increasing the number of students involved in STEM subjects from both urban and rural areas.

“Innovation is a significant driver of growth for the U.S. economy, and immersive media technology is poised to disrupt several key industries,” Julie Lenzer, the associate vice president for innovation and economic development and MAVRIC principal investigator, said in the university news release. “MAVRIC is well-positioned to emerge as the east coast hub of immersive media, and we will power that drive with a community-based, collaborative approach to commercializing these technologies.”

The MARVIC will be involved in connecting businesses and entrepreneurs with investors and researchers, particularly geared towards groups who are largely under-represented in the technology sector. It is hoped the centre will help to create new companies in the area and help drive innovation and growth.

VRFocus will continue to report on new developments in the VR and AR sectors.